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The Astonishing Conclusion of the Attribution Debate on the Law of Comparative Advantage

Jorge Morales Meoqui ()

No uwdbk, OSF Preprints from Center for Open Science

Abstract: The recent demystification of David Ricardo’s famous numerical example in chapter 7 of the Principles bears important implications for the longstanding attribution debate on the law of comparative advantage. It has now become apparent that neither Ricardo nor Smith had anything to do with it. In reality, they both adhered to the classical rule for specialization, allegedly refuted by the law of comparative advantage. The unfounded belief in the existence of this so-called law gradually grew out of the confusion created by John Stuart Mill’s misreading of the purpose, content and implications of Ricardo’s four numbers. As shown in the paper, J. S. Mill, James Mill and Robert Torrens also always adhered to the classical rule for specialization. Thus, the law of comparative advantage is nothing more than an illusion, so no one should be credited for it.

Date: 2021-01-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-law
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Working Paper: On the distribution of authorship-merits for the comparative-advantage proposition (2012) Downloads
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DOI: 10.31219/

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